Sports injuries and the accident and emergency department--ten years on

Ir Med J. 1992 Mar;85(1):30-3.


A six month prospective survey in 1990 of sports injuries presenting to the A+E department of St James and the Mater hospitals revealed 1594 patients, accounting for 3.8% of the total number of new patients seen in that period. These results were compared to a similar study conducted in the Mater in 1980. Comparison with the 1980 study showed similar patterns with respect to sex, sport and site of injury. There was an increase of the age at which sport was played as evidence by the age of those injured. Whilst delay in presentation has improved somewhat, 57% of patients stil waited more than 12 hours before attending. Management of the total spectrum of injury has changed. More X-Rays were taken and on-site physiotherapy has been established in both A+E departments. Despite such an accessible facility the use of physiotherapy in sports injuries could be improved. There was also variation in the treatment of non-orthopaedic injury. We recommend that education of sport participants continue, especially in the areas of protective equipment and early presentation for medical assessment. We further propose that A+E staff be educated in the special needs of sports men and women, and that as recommended previously in the 1980 study, a Central Sports Injury Clinic for the six Dublin hospitals be established.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ireland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors